AskDefine | Define plankton

Dictionary Definition

plankton n : the aggregate of small plant and animal organisms that float or drift in great numbers in fresh or salt water

User Contributed Dictionary



From the Greek adjective πλαγκτός ("wanderer" and "drifter").


  1. a generic term for all the microorganisms that float in the sea.

Related terms


See also

Extensive Definition

This article is about the marine organisms. For the SpongeBob SquarePants character, see Plankton (SpongeBob SquarePants)
|- | Macroplankton || 2×10-2→2×10-1 m || (2-20 cm) || metazoans; e.g. pteropods; chaetognaths |- | Mesoplankton || 2×10-4→2×10-2 m || (0.2 mm-2 cm) || metazoans; e.g. copepods |- | Microplankton || 2×10-5→2×10-4 m || (20-200 µm) || large eukaryotic protists; juvenile/small metazoans |- | Nanoplankton || 2×10-6→2×10-5 m || (2-20 µm) || small eukaryotic protists |- | Picoplankton || 2×10-7→2×10-6 m || (0.2-2 µm) || small eukaryotic protists; bacteria |- | Femtoplankton || < 2×10-7 m || (< 0.2 µm) || marine viruses |- |}
However, some of these terms may be used with very different boundaries, especially on the larger end of the scale. The existence and importance of nano- and even smaller plankton was only discovered during the 1980s, but they are thought to make up the largest proportion of all plankton in number and diversity.


External links

plankton in Arabic: بلانكتون
plankton in Bulgarian: Планктон
plankton in Catalan: Plàncton
plankton in Czech: Plankton
plankton in Welsh: Plancton
plankton in Danish: Plankton
plankton in German: Plankton
plankton in Estonian: Plankton
plankton in Modern Greek (1453-): Πλαγκτόν
plankton in Spanish: Plancton
plankton in Esperanto: Planktono
plankton in Persian: پلانکتون
plankton in French: Plancton
plankton in Scottish Gaelic: Meanbh-bheò
plankton in Croatian: Plankton
plankton in Indonesian: Plankton
plankton in Interlingua (International Auxiliary Language Association): Plancton
plankton in Icelandic: Svif
plankton in Italian: Plancton
plankton in Hebrew: פלנקטון
plankton in Latin: Plancton
plankton in Lithuanian: Planktonas
plankton in Hungarian: Plankton
plankton in Malay (macrolanguage): Plankton
plankton in Dutch: Plankton
plankton in Japanese: プランクトン
plankton in Norwegian: Plankton
plankton in Norwegian Nynorsk: Plankton
plankton in Polish: Plankton
plankton in Portuguese: Plâncton
plankton in Romanian: Plancton
plankton in Russian: Планктон
plankton in Simple English: Plankton
plankton in Serbian: Планктон
plankton in Finnish: Plankton
plankton in Swedish: Plankton
plankton in Thai: แพลงก์ตอน
plankton in Vietnamese: Sinh vật phù du
plankton in Turkish: Plankton
plankton in Ukrainian: Планктон
plankton in Chinese: 浮游生物界

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Iceland moss, Irish moss, Loch Ness monster, alevin, benthon, benthos, brown algae, cetacean, conferva, dolphin, dulse, fingerling, fish, fry, fucoid, fucus, game fish, green algae, grilse, gulfweed, kelp, kipper, lichen, man-eater, man-eating shark, marine animal, minnow, minny, nekton, panfish, phytoplankton, pond scum, porpoise, red algae, reindeer moss, rockweed, salmon, sargasso, sargassum, scum, sea monster, sea moss, sea pig, sea serpent, sea snake, sea wrack, seaweed, shark, smolt, sponge, tropical fish, whale, wrack
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